Trojan Sports Update: Quartet Heads to State Cross Country Finals

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Friday, November 1, 2019, 3:00 pm
Mark Meyer

East Lansing freshman Anna Delgado walks toward the medal podium Oct. 25 at DeWitt High School to take her place among the state qualifiers for this weekend's MHSAA Division 1 finals cross country race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. (Photo by Mark Meyer)

The wintry forecast of a rain-snow mix with temperatures at or below the freezing mark will make for a brisk wake-up call for Division 4 girls cross country runners, who are scheduled to meet the starter at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the first of eight Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state championship races at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

East Lansing High School is sending four regional qualifiers to the state meet: two girls (junior Abbie Draheim and freshman Anna Delgado) and two boys (senior Andrew Lane and junior Nathan Faust). Draheim won last Friday’s Division I regional at DeWitt while Delgado finished eighth in a field of 105 runners; Lane placed fourth in the boys race, Faust took ninth in a field of 111.

All in all, a successful day for the Trojan runners who get a break in their start times Saturday. The Division 1 girls race is slated for 2:10 p.m., with the boys in the finale at 3:30 p.m.

“Getting two in each race to state is very, very good,” East Lansing boys coach Pat Murray said, “especially coming out of the regional that they did. There were some very quality runners at DeWitt, and our runners performed very well.”

Running in two of the last three races Saturday, however, has its disadvantages.

“There will be a thousand to two thousand runners go over that course before we get to it,” said Lane, “so we’ll probably wear a slightly longer spike (in our shoe) to make sure footing is stable, and then just make sure we maintain proper form.”

Lane ran his second-fastest race of the year last week when he covered the 5,000 meters in 15:29.3, about 17 seconds behind the winner, Jack Spammer of Brighton (15:12.7).

“I thought the race went pretty well for me,” said Lane. “There was a lot of good competition, so I knew I would have to race hard. I had a job to do and I got it done.”

Both Lane and Faust qualified for the state finals last year, and finished 48th (16:28.5) and 72nd (16:38.2), respectively.

Faust said a different race strategy is a must for Saturday in a field of 245 runners.

“Last year at state I went out way too slow, got behind a lot of people and each time you pass someone it takes that more energy,” Faust said. “This year I’m going out faster because in many ways I feel like it’s a two-mile race and then a hold after that … hold your position to the finish.”

Gridiron rematch at Lynn C. Adams Stadium

Capital Area Activities Conference Blue division co-champions East Lansing and DeWitt renew their rivalry at 7 p.m. Friday at Lynn C. Adams Stadium. Both teams finished the regular season with overall records of 7-2 and 5-1 In the CAAC Blue.

East Lansing defeated DeWitt 21-2 on September 28 on the Panthers’ home field in a game that was halted the night before because of severe weather early in the second quarter.

DeWitt defeated the Trojans twice last season, including a postseason matchup in the district final.

East Lansing senior quarterback Sam Busch enters the game having completed 60 percent (91 of 150) of his passes for 1,360 yards. The Trojans’ leading receiver, junior Andrel Anthony has caught 44 passes for 797 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games.

Sophomore Asher Gregory has rushed for 490 yards and six touchdowns while splitting tailback duties with senior T’Senre Gray (65 carries, 375 yards, 2 touchdowns) and junior Alex Hosey (58 carries, 364 yards, seven touchdowns). Senior fullback Jamar Mills has scored eight touchdowns, most of which have been inside the 5 yard line.

Mills (93 tackles), senior Jayth Joseph (64 tackles) and sophomore Ambrose Wilson (52 tackles) anchor a Trojan defense that has allowed seven points in its last three games while posting two shutouts. Sophomore defensive back Brevin Jackson has four of the team’s 11 interceptions.

The winner of Friday’s matchup will play the Mason-St. Johns winner in the district championship next week.

Trojan water polo team opens region play tonight

The Holt/East Lansing water polo team will play Huron High School (Ann Arbor) at 7:45 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals of the Michigan Water Polo Association East Region Championships at Groves High School in Birmingham.

A victory this evening would advance the Trojans to the Saturday morning (10:15 a.m.) semifinals against the winner of the Dexter-United (Troy) game.

There are 16 teams playing at two region sites this weekend (bracket above courtesy of the Michigan Water Polo Association):

  • East Region (at Groves HS, Birmingham): Seaholm (Birmingham), Skyline (Ann Arbor), Pioneer (Ann Arbor), Okemos, Dexter, United (Troy), Huron and Holt/East Lansing.
  • West Region (at Hudsonville HS): Portage, East Grand Rapids, Zeeland, Rockford, West Ottawa, Grand Haven, East Kentwood, and the host Eagles.

The eight region semifinalists will advance to the state finals, Nov. 15-16 at East Lansing High School.

“I’m optimistic about making the finals, especially because we’re the host site,” said Holt/East Lansing coach Eric Spicer, “but we’re certainly not looking past Huron. I expect the quarterfinal game to be very competitive.”

East Lansing has a record of 26-10 entering weekend play. Amadeo LeVeque, a senior from Holt, leads the team in scoring with 135 goals and 32 assists. Trojan senior Matias Jimenez (59 goals, 15 assists) and Holt senior Braeden Pfeil (57 goals, 27 assists) are second and third, respectively, among the team’s top scorers. Trojan senior Anthony Medei, the team’s primary goalkeeper, has a save percentage of 61 in 36 games played.

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